Probiotics Standards Proposed for FCC

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WholeFoods Magazine Staff
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Rockville, MD—The U.S. Pharmacopeia (USP) has announced some additions to the latest version of its Food Chemicals Codex (FCC).

The FCC is a compilation of purity and identity standards that apply to food ingredients. About 1,100 monographs comprise the compendium. Starting with its latest edition, the standards may also include probiotic ingredients. The standards (“Microbial Food Cultures Including Probiotics”) are now undergoing public review and comment.

In a prepared statement, USP indicated that identification of probiotics genus and species—while not easy—is critical to ensuring the bacteria are being used safely and are supporting any health claims. The firm stated, “For any claimed health benefit, manufacturers should be able to confirm that what they are using in a probiotic food product is indeed the strain tested. Enumeration is similarly important because any claimed health effects supported by study trial data would also be specific to the level of intake.”

Other proposed standards include steviol glycosides, benzoates and flavoring ingredients for infant formulas. To review the proposed FCC standards, visit www.usp.org/fcc.